As The Beer Flows, So Does The Economy, As Consumers Keep Growth Aloft | 10/7/2019 | Staff
Pumpkinajn (Posted by) Level 3
DENVER (Reuters) – If the global economy hits the skids, the warning may come from the hop-covered taproom of the Denver Beer Co, where yearly sales are up 17% and founder Charlie Berger says the new “Juicy Freak” India Pale Ale is a bestseller despite its $1-per-pint higher price tag.

Bars and restaurants have been mainstays of a U.S. economic expansion that rests squarely on consumer spending, and if businesses like Berger’s start to slow it’s a short step from there to jobs, wages, business sentiment and world demand.

Numbers - Berger - Growth - Taproom - Sales

“These were numbers we couldn’t believe,” Berger said of the growth in his main taproom sales and the 30% jump in output over the past year, to 20,000 barrels, at the company’s main production brewery.

If the view from this open-air bar remains rosy, it’s amid a decidedly mixed picture elsewhere in the United States and the world as economists and policymakers take note of what has become a consumer-dependent – and potentially fragile – global growth picture.

International - Monetary - Fund - Week - Outlook

The International Monetary Fund this week downgraded its outlook for world growth in 2019 to 3%, the slowest pace since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago. Officials cited stalled trade and investment as the culprit, leaving household spending as the main support for private-sector growth.

That may itself be coming under pressure.

China - Shopkeepers - Demand - Cases - Purchases

In China, shopkeepers tell of waning demand that has made them more cautious, in some cases delaying personal purchases and amplifying the effect of that uncertainty. Embroiled in a trade war with the United States, China saw its economic growth slow to 6.2% in the second quarter on a year-on-year basis, its weakest pace in at least 27 years. Retail sales growth is the weakest since early 2003, and Chinese car sales declined last year for the first time since the 1990s.

“Our business has...
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